Adobe Stock

Explosive population growth is a good problem to have, leading to holistic economic growth. But, regardless of the benefits, super rapid growth is hard to manage. Denver is dealing with more than 1,000 new residents per month by leveraging technology.

New technologies and process innovation are helping Denver provide services more efficiently in an era of unprecedented population and workload growth, the city's new technology leader told attendees at the Colorado Digital Government Summit Oct. 1.

The region has added a net population growth of 1,000 people during each of the past 48 months, city/county CIO David Edinger said — a condition that has exacerbated resident concerns identified in a survey around issues like affordable housing, congestion, traffic and overall cost. Denver had an estimated 2017 population of more than 704,000 according to the U.S. Census Bureau and it’s one of 28 major U.S. areas growing by at least 1 percent per year.

Simultaneously, the local government has increased its workforce, but only by around 19 percent, Edinger told attendees, noting that “if you’d never heard of the word ‘innovation,’ you might conclude things have gotten really bad.” That, he said, is decidedly not the case.

Denver government may have 58 percent more work to do in aggregate than it did in 2011 but thanks to what Edinger termed “government widgets” — including apps and updated processes powered by modern IT — the agency has managed to eliminate backlogs and improve resident experience in some of its most heavily used areas.

Read More